LONDON—The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) has announced this year’s cohort of Eye Health Heroes—IAPB’s annual development program to celebrate and nurture young and upcoming talent in the eye health sector. The program provides a unique opportunity to connect, develop and celebrate Eye Health Heroes from across the NGO, corporate, clinical and public policy, global eye health community, the agency said. In a set of online ceremonies, IAPB celebrated 80 heroes nominated by the eye health sector from across the globe.

"Together, the heroes represent the promise of the innovation and leadership as they set about delivering eyecare in diverse environments, while overcoming a myriad of challenges," stated IAPB. "These heroes become part of a year-long training and mentorship program, learning from some of the eye health sectors most prominent leaders," the agency noted.
This year’s heroes have been selected across three categories:
The "Leaders" category recognizes that leaders can emerge at all levels and in all roles across eye health but share essential characteristics: they are high performers in their roles, influence others, show potential and are open to learning and growing from each experience.
"Change-makers" are those that are motivated to act and who turn good ideas into action. This could be by embedding eye health in health systems, changing corporate behaviour or bringing about policy change—winners in this category bring about positive change through action.
Finally, "Innovators" are individuals who embrace new ideas and create new possibilities and outcomes, while challenging the status quo and pushing their boundaries of knowledge to develop new approaches, systems or technologies in eye health.
Details about the winners in each category are posted here.
Joanna Conlon, director of development and communications at IAPB said, “I am delighted to welcome this year’s cohort of inspiring Eye Health Heroes—congratulations! These heroes should be very proud of their achievements, and I look forward to seeing the role they and their organizations will play in implementing the new sector strategy ‘2030 In Sight’ where innovation, creating change and strong leadership are the answer. 
"Their commitment and energy will be critical to ensure that by 2030 no one experiences unnecessary sight loss, that everyone has the support and services to achieve their full potential and that we all understand the importance of caring for our own eye health.”
Andrew Stewart, GM, eyecare, global marketing, AbbVie said, "Eye health matters, and it matters because of the people who make eye health delivery possible. It is incredible to see the range of work these young people are accomplishing through exceptional circumstances. I would like to congratulate this year’s cohort of Eye Health Heroes and thank them for their invaluable work."
The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) is the overarching alliance for the global eyecare sector with 150 members worldwide drawn from NGOs and civil society, corporate organizations, professional bodies and research and eyecare institutions.